Petros "Pete" Sampras (born August 12, 1971) is a retired American-Greek tennis player and former world No. 1 widely regarded as one of the greatest in tennis history. He debuted on the professional tour in 1988 and finished his career at the 2002 U.S. Open, which he won, defeating rival Andre Agassi in the final. He was particularly esteemed for his precise serve, earning the nickname "Pistol Pete".
Sampras became the first professional to break Roy Emerson's pre-Open Era record of 12 Grand Slam singles titles and retired with 14 titles, though this is no longer the record. His seven Wimbledon and five U.S. Open singles titles remain Open Era records tied with Roger Federer (The Championships, Wimbledon) and Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer (U.S. Open). He also won seven elite indoor titles (five ATP World Tour Finals and two Grand Slam Cups) and still holds the ATP record of six year-end No. 1 rankings, which were in consecutive years from 1993 through 1998.
Sampras was born in Potomac, Maryland, the third child of Sammy and Georgia Sampras. His mother emigrated from Sparta, Greece, and his father was born in the United States to a Greek father and a Jewish mother. He attended regular services of the Greek Orthodox Church on Sundays. From an early age, Sampras showed signs of outstanding athletic ability. At the age of 3, Sampras discovered a tennis racket in the basement of his home and spent hours hitting balls against the wall...
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